20 TV Show Pilots That Are Totally Flawless

19. Pilot - Arrested Development

Alias Jennifer Garner
Fox

Arrested Development started as it meant to go on: By airing a pilot that introduced more ideas, characters, themes, recurring gags and family drama than basically any other sitcom before or since. The episode broke all the rules and made it look easy, as well as astonishingly fun.

On its own, the introduction to the hazardous world of the Bluth family is a stunning watch, requiring unwavering attention but reaping many rewards for those willing to take the journey. But the true genius of the episode comes from the jokes it sets up for future episodes, and the foreshadowing peppered throughout.

Simply, Arrested Development's pilot is a treasure trove of humour that's actually better on a second viewing. It introduces recurring jokes such as the man with the "freedom" sign and the idea that Tobias is gay - despite his objections - and sets up an hilarious and compelling narrative in the process.

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